Starting out as a newswire journalist covering beats as diverse as business, politics, entertainment, crime, civic affairs, cricket and defence, I was keen to pursue a career in print or broadcast journalism. But the emerging world of multimedia storytelling promised a fascinating future, and I changed my focus to digital media more than a decade ago. Before Forbes India, I have worked for organisations such as ANI, Money Control, Arabian Business, Yahoo India and VFS Global. I hold master's degrees in Communication Studies (University of Pune, India) and Journalism (University of Westminster, London, UK).
Four Indian film stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan have made their way into Forbes's 'The World's Highest-Paid Actors' 2016 list, for the second year in a row.
The Bollywood icons join the ranks of international actors such as Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, Adam Sandler, Leonardo Dicaprio and Will Smith, among others. With his $-64.5 million worth earnings, Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson became this year's highest money gainer, Forbes revealed on its website on Thursday.
At No. 8, Shah Rukh Khan ($33 million, or Rs 221.6 crore) is the top-ranked Indian actor, raking in as much as Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr.; while the No. 10 ranked Akshay Kumar ($31.5 million) earned the same as Brad Pitt. Salman Khan at No. 14 ($28.5 million) and Amitabh Bachchan at No. 18 ($20 million), are the other Indians among the top 20 entries featured in the list.
The list considers the earnings of the world's highest paid male actors, between the June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016 period, before management fees and taxes. The figures are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers—and stars themselves.
Jackie Chan ($61 million), China's biggest film star, is ranked No. 2 on 'The World's Highest-Paid Actors' 2016 list, followed by Matt Damon ($55 million). Rounding out the top five spots are Tom Cruise (No. 4, $53 million) and Johnny Depp (No. 5, $48 million).
Amitabh Bachchan, at 73, continued to be busy, with three of his movies (Wazir, Te3n and Ki & Ka) releasing in the scoring period. Shah Rukh Khan (Dilwale and Fan) and Akshay Kumar (Singh Is Bliing and Airlift) had two major releases each. In terms of box office performances, Salman Khan towered above everyone else in the period, with both his movies collecting more than Rs 1,000 crore in total. Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo performed well internationally as well, earning the 50-year-old Khan critical and commercial acclaim.
But beyond movies, what has propelled the actors into the highest-paid list is their big-brand endorsement deals targeted at India’s burgeoning consumer base.
Shah Rukh, 50 was ranked No. 86 on Forbes’s recently published 'World’s 100 Highest-Paid Celebrities' list. Akshay Kumar, 48 was the only other Indian celebrity on the list, ranked No. 94.
On Tuesday, Deepika Padukone made her debut on the Forbes 'World's Highest-Paid Actresses' list. With $10 million in earnings, the 30-year-old Padukone is the only Indian actress and sole newcomer to feature in the annual list. Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence topped the list for the second year in a row, earning $46 million pretax over 12 months.
Universally, a pay gap exists between male and female actors, according to Forbes. "Combined, the world’s 20 highest-paid actors earned a whopping $703.5 million between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016, before management fees and taxes. That’s more than three times the $205 million tallied by the top 10 highest-paid actresses in the same time frame," it said.
Click here to view the The World's Highest-Paid Actors 2016 list